Credit Suisse Hires Lazard's Cohen for Retail Banking Deals

  • Jeffrey Cohen is a vice chairman reporting to Jens Welter
  • Firm is adding to retail coverage amid investment bank cuts

Credit Suisse Group AG hired Jeffrey Cohen from Lazard Ltd. as the firm seeks to expand its retail and consumer products investment-banking business.

Cohen, 52, is a vice chairman based in New York and reports to Jens Welter, global head of retail and consumer products, the Zurich-based firm said in a staff memo, a copy of which Bloomberg obtained Monday. Cohen joined Lazard in 2009 from UBS Group AG and was most recently global head of retail.

Credit Suisse is adding to its retail products banking and capital markets business even as the firm plans to speed up and deepen cuts to the investment bank’s trading operations. The world’s biggest banks are struggling with record-low interest rates, slumping commodity prices, cooling emerging-market growth and, in some cases, mounting fines from past misconduct.

“Almost always there is something going in retail,” Cohen, who has a law degree from Harvard University, said in a phone interview. “It may be in one subsector or another, this part of the world or that part of the world.”

Cohen has been involved in deals including the merger of drugstore chain Walgreen Co. with Alliance Boots, and Royal Ahold NV’s agreement last year to buy Delhaize Group for more than $10 billion, creating the fifth-biggest U.S. supermarket retailer, according to the memo. He also has advised Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on some acquisitions and worked on restructurings for firms including Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. and RadioShack Corp., according to the memo.

“Jeffrey has worked with many of the largest and most well-known retail companies in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America,” Welter said in the memo. “I am delighted to have someone of Jeffrey’s caliber and experience on board.”

A spokeswoman for Lazard didn’t immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.

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